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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Homeless services to pay for banning animals

September 09 2009
Californian homeless services illegally banned life-saving animals Californian homeless services may have to pay out for an illegal ban against life-saving animals from their premises. The Housing Rights Centre and Disability Rights Legal Center is suing Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority for discriminatory policies that refused vulnerable people access to accommodation because they came with an animal. The case was announced on 18th July. They are fighting the case on behalf of people like wheelchairbound Shawnie Mackay, who is forced to sleep rough as the city's homeless shelters will not accept Molly, the canine companion trained to detect and cope with her seizures. Ms Mackay said: "I'm not safe without her, but I'm not safe on the streets either." Michelle Uzeta, the group's director of litigation, said: "These shelters put people with disabilities in the impossible position of having to choose between the service animals that provide them with needed disability-related assistance and the ability to access emergency shelter services.". Whilst some hostels do cater for animals, these tend to be geared up for pets and provide separate kennel areas which are not suitable for people who need their dog by their side in case of emergency."